Excelsior aims high following SDF’s rehab of multipurpose court
Stakeholders of the Excelsior group of schools believe that the renovated multi-purpose court funded by the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) will contribute to the increased success of their individual sports programmes.
The handover ceremony took place at the Excelsior Community College on Thursday.
The SDF pumped over J$5.5 million into the project which included the paving and marking of the asphalt court as well as the installation of hoops and fencing. Though the multi-purpose court is located on the campus of the Excelsior Community College, it will also serve the Excelsior High School and Excelsior Primary and Infant School.
Principal of the Excelsior Community College Philmore McCarthy told the Jamaica Observer it will significantly help to change the lives of the students involved in sports.
“What we have found over the years is that when we invite members from the community to be part of whatever is happening in our institution, it provides for them an opportunity for self-upliftment. Most of the students coming to us are first generation college students, so as far as we are concerned, once we get those persons to come in and having their talent and skills in sports, this multi-purpose court will be able to engage even further those persons from the community and to give them an opportunity,” said McCarthy.
Chief engineer of the SDF Christopher Marshall thinks this will benefit more than just Excelsior.
“The SDF’s motto is developing the nation through sports where there’s a sporting infrastructure that is needed, that’s our mandate so we always strive to aid. The impact of this court will be great because it’s the Excelsior community and surrounding communities, so the reach and necessity if this court goes far beyond the reach of any normal court,” said Marshall.
The court is an early Christmas gift for headcoach of the Excelsior High and Community College teams Rohan Robinson.
“I’m elated right now. I’ve been here for over 20 years and we’ve always wanted our court to be fixed. I remember our first [collegiate] championship, we couldn’t have any home game because our court wasn’t good and to see this, trust me I’m so elated about it. It’s a tremendous gift that we are going to cherish and make sure it is upkept,” said Robinson.
Sportsmaster at Excelsior High Kirkland Bailey says their student athletes will continue to excel through the use of the refurbished court.
“It offers the opportunity for our youngsters to develop their skills in a safe environment and minimise their risk of injury. We have a very vibrant sports programme; we have won the netball title on quite a few occasions, so we look forward to the youngsters having the facilities at their disposal. We also have competitive basketball and volleyball programmes as well.
“Because of the numbers that both schools tend to have, it offers a second option because we normally use the gymnasium at the high school but now we can split numbers, specialise and have more technical work done. It’s a tremendous boost to the overall thrust to continue our dominance in sports and we welcome the use of it in the very near future,” Bailey said.
Following the handover ceremony, the schools’ respective basketball and netball teams participated in exhibition matches.